I have the song “Comfort Ye My People,” from “The Messiah,” running through my head now. While this is a tenor solo, and I was an alto, I treasure precious memories of singing with my dad in our church choir growing up. Handel’s Messiah has a special place in my heart. The words of Isaiah in this passage are clearly the inspiration for that musical selection!
How do these words speak to you today wearing your “Advent Lenses”? We probably recognize the “someone” shouting in the wilderness, to be John, centuries later from when these words were written. “Clear the way through the wilderness for the LORD!” I’d like to think that we, too, can be messengers trying to clear through the “gunk” in this world to make a way for Jesus to be known.
When Jesus comes again, I want to be ready. I want to make sure those around me are also ready. It’s our job to make sure many recognize what is happening when Jesus comes again. “Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. The LORD has spoken!”
What a glorious day that will be! Although I realize for those who aren’t “ready,” it might be frightening. It may be too late. Some may not have heard. What will you think when you see this? “Yes, the Sovereign LORD is coming in power. He will rule with a powerful arm. See, he brings his reward with him as he comes.”
What reward are we waiting for? Jesus promised us salvation. What better reward could there be? The news is very good indeed. This passage encourages us to “Shout, and do not be afraid.”
But fear is exactly what hold us back sometimes, isn’t it? We tend to put too much emphasis on worrying what other people think about us. Shouldn’t we be thinking, I can’t keep this great news to myself. Everyone needs to hear this. The impact is so much greater than simply sharing about a great meal we had last night at a new restaurant. Why is that easier to share about?
Powerful, yet gentle! The image of Jesus feeding us, carrying us through life, and holding us close gives me such comfort. How fitting the idea of comfort was what started this passage today. The coming LORD is meant to bring comfort because we’ll know that our “forever” with Jesus is about to begin.
Reflect today on how you can “shout out” the message of Jesus’ return to those waiting to hear and be comforted.
Let’s pray. Lord, give me the boldness I need to shout out the good news of your love and redemptive power. Help me spread your message of hope to the world in need of comfort. Thank you for your love, your sacrifice, your Son. In Jesus’ name. Amen.